Air Base Official Says No Evidence to Show U
Air Base Official Says No Evidence to Show U.S Servicemen Stabbed Filipinos With AM-Philippines, Bjt
CLARK AIR BASE, Philippines (AP) _ U.S. authorities have found no evidence to support strikers’ claims that American servicemen were involved in the alleged stabbings of Filipinos at the Subic Naval Base, a spokesman said Sunday.
Navy spokesman Lt. Cmdr. James Van Sickle said interviews conducted with base security personnel and Filipino police ″failed to substantiate″ allegations U.S. servicemen were involved in any such incident.
He said a Navy investigation was continuing.
Strikers maintained their barricades at Subic and Clark Air Base, the two major U.S. outposts in the Philippines, as 22,000 Filipino employees continued their strike Sunday with no solution in sight.
U.S. officials said the strike has had little impact on operations at the two bases, both within 50 miles of Manila, but that lack of cooks forced authorities to reduce menus offered at two clubs serving officers and enlisted men in Subic.
Strike leaders said five Filipinos suffered knife wounds in a clash between strikers and some U.S. servicemen attempting to cross a picket line shortly after Subic employees began their strike Friday night. Seven other people, including five servicemen, were injured, they said.
Employees at Clark joined the walkout Saturday night.
Union officials called the strike at Clark, Subic and half a dozen other smaller U.S. facilities after American military authorities rejected a demand for increased severance pay. It was the only point among eight demands that U.S. officials have not met.
Strikers laid barricades of rocks and logs across roads, blocking passage through the gates of Clark and Subic. Some carried placards reading, ″U.S. Govt Champion of Human Rights Violation″ and ″No Compromise.″
U.S. military sources said no talks were held Sunday.
Subic, in Zambales province, covers more than 36,000 acres and serves as a repair yard for 7th Fleet ships. Clark, in Pampanga province, is a 9,400-acre reservation that serves as the home of the U.S. 13th Air Force and provides logistics support to U.S. forces in the Pacific.
The two bases have about 17,000 U.S. military personnel and 21,000 military dependents.
″All recreation services are open and the power plant, water treatment plant and trash removal services are open,″ Van Sickle said.
Clark spokesman Capt. James Sahli said all essential services were functioning at Clark and that only a few non-essential services, such as the base exchange, were not running. He said there have been some cutbacks at recreation facilities.
Base sources said some services at Clark, such as food stores, were being operated by volunteers from among military dependents.
The strike has dampened business in night clubs outside Clark. Mayor Fred Halili of Mabalacat town said about 60 percent of the bars and night clubs reported little business since the walkout began.